Recent data shows that Castilla and Leon, where all 4 of Scooby’s refuges are located, is the most violent community against dogs in Spain. This is the land of hunting and violence in the name of “tradition”, the land of the saying: “the collar is worth more than the galgo”.
Since the last 20 years we keep on showing the world what a lot of people around here do to get rid of the dogs they no longer need for winning, to show off or to make money. And we have been showing their shame, not only where they are located and where their practices are common, we show it to the world and that stings.
This year we have found a home for 1294 dogs and 80% of these adoptions have taken place abroad. If it weren’t for other countries, we and a lot of other refuges would not be able to take in any animals. The galgos and podencos that are abandoned would still be hanged in their pine tree areas, thrown in wells and in the best of cases left roaming around rural areas trying to find food in garbage bins.
Therefore, about 20 times a year we get moving to make another trip into Europe. We make sure the paperwork of the truck is in order, the sanitation certificate and the authorization of the drivers. We vaccinate, sterilize and check the animals. When they are ready to travel we go to the board of Castilla and Leon with their identification papers and the health passports for each one of them, information on their adoptants, their destination and who will be responsible for them during transportation. All this information will be recorded in the official TRACES system and we then get their European passports so they can travel. About 48 hours before the transport, a veterinary inspector of the regional government confirms if everything is in order.
And then, with all the documentation at hand, and almost always a Friday afternoon, the dogs are loaded into the van. Our drivers, two volunteers who dedicate their weekend to the trip, take turns at the wheel to arrive as soon as possible in Holland, 16 hours of driving, to France, 11 hours, Italy 19 hours, or to the end of the world if need be.
When we arrive at the destination, the adopting families are usually there already, waiting impatiently to get to know their dogs. One by one we take them out of the van: happiness, cuddles, hugs and even tears. And then, the same or the next day, the local authorities check all the documentation, each microchip and each passport.
And then comes the moment to return with the van, empty of dogs but many times full with gifts of food and blankets for the refuge. The satisfaction of knowing that a new life has started for them, that they are going to be cared for, loved and respected, accompanies us home until again we meet the day to day reality when we get to the refuge. How many more trips do we need to make? When Spain will change their way of treating animals?
Scooby Protectora y Santuario